Inkscape and the “Somethings Up” uploading error

One of the major issues I’ve found when working with Inkscape is after converting text to paths, it will leave some empty paths in the design.  This shows up when you upload the offending SVG file to Ponoko and then it returns this error:

This is cryptic at best.  The error links to the “Design File Troubleshooting” page which will only help if you have a copy of Adobe Illustrator.

When I first got this issue, It took me a while of deleting elements one by one to find that the issue was introduced when I converted the text to path.  It seems to only happen in larger designs, when I experiment with text path only SVG files it doesn’t exhibit the issue.  (shrug)  The troubleshooting link goes into details about empty paths using the “Layers” window in Illustrator.   Here is the layers showing one of the empty paths “path7929”:

SVG files are XML files.  This means they can be opened and read, edited etc like text files.  When looking into the SVG file “path7929” corresponds to this:

Everything between the <path (something something) and the /> defines one path in the SVG file.  For my designs the empty path would always have //d=”(something)0,0″‘// (Zero comma Zero DoubleQuote).  So after spending a few weeks removing the empty paths by hand using a trial license of Illustrator, earlier this year I wrote a C++ program to parse the file and remove the empty strings.

I’ve cleaned it up and and you can download it from GitHub here:

https://github.com/JamesStokebrand/RMEmptyXMLPaths

Source code and makefile provided.  This program will only correct the empty paths introduced in the SVG file by Inkscape, if you have other issues with your SVG file, this program wont fix those.  I’ve released it with the Apache 2.0 license.  Feel free to hack, bake, fold or mutilate this file to your liking.

EDIT:  Uploaded the source code and makefile to GitHub.  Post has been edited to reflect this change.

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